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Real early this morning, like maybe 1:30 a.m., US Marine Vietnam war veteran John Donnelly of Key Largo
alerted me to a beauty pageant entry in today’s Citizen – www.goodmorningkeywest.com – my interjected thoughts in italics.
Sunday, July 6, 2014Decrease text sizeIncrease text sizeAdd to FacebookAdd to Twitter
Witness: Officer joked of Eimers’ arrest
FDLE has conflict with lead investigator, attorneys say
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
The day after Thanksgiving, a Key West police officer complained that his holiday was ruined by “another … homeless crackhead” who wouldn’t stop thrashing as he and another officer held him facedown in the sand, according to a woman subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury this month.
Key West the Newspaper – www.thebluepaper.com link to bystander’s video of how it went down:
While Charles Eimers, 61, was in a local hospital attached to life support, Officer Gary Lee Lovette was laughing while publicly recounting how he slammed his elbow into the back of Eimers’ head to “quiet him down,” Sherrie Waltz wrote in an April 17 email to an investigator working for a Key West attorney.
On the day she wrote the email, Waltz hadn’t been interviewed by state investigators assigned to review the incident, although she says she first called them in December. About a month ago, Waltz finally sat down with investigators from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, along with a state prosecutor, to give her formal statement.
Key West attorneys representing the Eimers family say FDLE ignored several phone calls from eyewitnesses like Waltz with information on the Eimers’ arrest, but ignored them until pressured by media coverage.
“If FDLE fails to interview witnesses, how can there be a ‘thorough’ investigation?” attorney Darren Horan asked FDLE Special Agent Kathy Smith in an Feb. 20 email.
Horan has also questioned the length of time it took for Smith to interview all of the police officers involved in the case.
Smith has blamed the union attorneys for any delay, attorney David Paul Horan said in an email to FDLE Agent Carol Frederick.
What influence, pray tell, could union attorneys exert to prevent FDLE from timely interviewing CIVILIAN witnesses? Looks to me FDLE is part of the cover up and also should be before the Grand Jury convened by State Attorney Cathy Vogel. Or, in front of a Grand Jury convened by the US Attorney.
Lovette is one of 13 Key West officers named in a federal lawsuit by Eimers’ family accusing the police of causing the man’s death and mishandling the body after he died.
The city’s attorney, Michael Burke, has argued in court motions that the police were doing their job that day and cannot be held liable for Eimers’ injuries under the legal protection of qualified immunity.
Eimers died Dec. 4, but a detective’s mistakes delayed the autopsy until Dec. 12.
Mistakes? The detective intentionally did not notify the Eimers family. Eimers’ body was intentionally sent to a local mortuary to be cremated (disappeared), instead to to the Medical Examiner, as required by state law for death in police custody cases.
But attorneys Darren Horan and his father, David Paul Horan, also accuse FDLE of mangling the required investigation into the in-custody death.
The FDLE investigation was intentionally mangled.
Another woman has backed up Waltz’s statement of Lovette laughing while he told the story of Eimers’ arrest.
Prosecutors have subpoenaed Waltz for the July 21-23 secret grand jury proceedings, she said Saturday.
The Horans say FDLE has a major conflict of interest when it comes to investigating the work of Key West police.
FDLE’s lead investigator on the in-custody death is Special Agent Smith, who is divorced from Capt. Scott Smith, a senior officer who reprimanded then-Detective Todd Stevens for not keeping Chief Donie Lee current on Eimers’ condition, and sent Stevens back to a patrol car and uniform.
The couple has children together.
FDLE says the personal relationship of the Smiths isn’t an issue when it comes to the integrity of the investigation.
FDLE’s own rules say its investigators cannot be, or have been, in close relationship with people they are investigating.
“The case agent is only one component of the investigative team,” said Samantha Andrews, a spokeswoman for FDLE who works in the Tallahassee office. “Checks and balances are in place to ensure the integrity of all our cases.”
Baloney. The case agent is the key component of the investigative team. Smith should have recused herself. That Smith did not recuse herself bodes ill for her. She should be in front of a Grand Jury for covering up evidence and obstructing justice by not interviewing known civilian witnesses.
FDLE last month turned over its findings to State Attorney Catherine Vogel’s office, which immediately announced it would let a grand jury decide whether to bring criminal charges against any of the police officers involved.
“Once the investigation is concluded, all of our investigative files will be available for the public’s review,” Andrews said.
Lovette played a key role in the Eimers’ arrest, police reports show. But Waltz says what she heard Nov. 29 about the beach takedown isn’t the first time she had to listen to the officer talking about his work.
“He often talked about his hatred of minorities and homeless people,” Waltz said in a written statement sent April 17 to an investigator working for attorney Darren Horan.
I wonder if that is what finally caused Horan to believe Charles Eimers died because he was believed by the cops to be homeless? Eimers told me that he was a while coming to that conclusion, he didn’t want to believe that was the reason Eimers died that day.
Lovette, who often visited his mother while she was on the job at Key West Cakes, walked into the shop Nov. 29 talking about “another homeless bum” who had been driving erratically, and later came out of his car “swinging and carrying on so badly that they had to take him down,” Waltz wrote.
Again, open this link and see the bystander’s video of what actually happened -
“I would have loved more than anything not to have heard that; it was horrendous,” Waltz said Saturday, over the phone from her new home in Palm Bay. “I shed a lot of tears over what happened to that man.”
She has plenty of work to do caring for the youngest of her three children. Waltz’s 17-year-old daughter battles a seizure disorder that doctors tell her isn’t treatable since the girl is allergic to medicines.
Waltz said she has police officers in her family and circle of friends.
“I’m not against cops,” she said.
But Waltz said she felt compelled to make a statement to FDLE about what she recalls Lovette saying about the man she later learned was Charles Eimers, a retired General Motors autoworker from Michigan who had just arrived in Key West that day.
Eimers died six days after Lovette and a band of police officers arrested him on South Beach after a low-speed chase from New Town to outside the Southernmost Beach Cafe. From the start, the police have contended that Eimers had heart problems, and also had resisted arrest on the beach.
Eimers died Thanksgiving Day, on South Beach. He was brain dead when his body arrived later at the hospital on Stock Island. Dead from lack of oxygen, according to the Medical Examiner’s autopsy report. Lack of oxygen also would have stopped Eimer’s heart from beating. Lack of oxygen from being smothered to death on South Beach.
Key West the Newspaper – www.thebluspaper.com – vision of what happened on South Beach
The county medical examiner has ruled the death an accident. Then-Medical Examiner Dr. E. Hunt Scheuerman wrote that Eimers had an already damaged heart, so he listed the “stress of struggling with police” as a contributing factor.
to Eimer’s heart failing due to lack of oxygen
Eimers’ arrest on Thanksgiving Day began with police trying to make a traffic stop, but the suspect continued driving until he came to 1405 Duval St. “where his vehicle became stuck” and he became “combative,” forcing police to restrain him, according to police reports.
During the arrest on the beach, Eimers “suddenly became unresponsive” and was taken to Lower Keys Medical Center, according to a report dated June 25 by county medical examiner investigator Casey Johnson.
On Dec. 4, the family asked doctors to take Eimers off the ventilator which was the only thing keeping him alive. The body was sent to a local funeral home instead of the morgue due to a detective’s failure to keep tabs on the man’s condition as ordered.
The medical examiner’s officer received the body Dec. 11. Eimers was later cremated.
The other day, reborn Christian ex-mainland lawyer Tim Gratz of Key West
sent me an article about a Miami police officer tazering a man to death, when the man, an artist, ran after being caught spray-painting a building. I wrote back to Tim:
Hi, Tim -
Tasering certainly poses risks and probably is overused by police. Police side arms pose far greater risks.
Maybe the angels will kick my butt for saying it, but this looks like Miami’s problem, not Key West’s.
So far, it looks to me the angels’ concern about the Matthew Murphy case is whether or not he was tasered from behind without warning from the cop.
Parallel, in the Charles Eimers case, the angels, so far, seem not concerned with prone restraint, per se, but with the attitude and behavior of the cops who were on top of Eimers, and with the cover up attempts afterward.
If, in fact, Eimers was tazered, why? Four cops were on top of him, after he put himself face down on the beach. Since when were four cops on top of one man face down not able to subdue him by holding his arms and legs and cuffing him?
Attitude of police in arrests which go bad seems to be what the angels look at first, is what I’m trying to say.
Did the police in the Miami tasering case really need to taser Hernandez? I don’t see anything indicating he posed them any threat to themselves. Spray-painting a building doesn’t seem to be the kind of behavior to warrant tasering, or shooting, the perpetrator.
Meanwhile, the City Commission has yet to show any remorse for or apologize to the Charles Eimers family for the City Commission’s police killing Charles last Thanksgiving Day because they thought he was living in his vehicle. Even as the City Commission makes criminals of homeless people who drink in public, while making saints of everyone else who drinks in public.
Tim replied this morning:
I thought you might want to look at the proposed guidelines issued by that Miami Beach audit committee to consider whether KW should adopt them.
Certainly agree that the City should be remorseful indeed and ought to be able to do so without admitting any liability.
Man, if I was driving a vehicle and killed a person totally without any personal fault, I would be as remorseful as heck that I in one sense caused another’s death. and regardless of the victim’s “station” in life.
I am sure you would be too.
Right now, prosecuting the KW cops and their chief and the mayor and city commissioners for the death of Charles Eimers is on the angels’ front burner. Guidelines, or lack thereof, had nothing to do with what they did to Eimers, other than their guidelines were to make homeless people’s lives as difficult as possible – see today’s front page article in KW Citizen.
For sure, I would be torn up by it, but Mayor Cates was not torn up by his daughter running over and killing a homeless man in front of Checkers, other than the difficulty it caused his daughter. The family of the dead homeless man asked Cates to pay the funeral expenses and Cates declined. So they sued him to get the funeral expenses. The angels were super thrilled how Cates handled that.
A third Key West beauty pageant entry was fathered on Facebook yesterday by Gweko Phlocker, aka Gary Ek, aka Soundman From Hell:
Two delayed 4th of July national beauty pageant entries were fathered on Facebook yesterday, the first by Tom Milone of Key West, the second by Chuck Satterfield:
I swan, there is seems to be no limit to beauty contest entries in the land of the free and the home of the brave, even though there does seem to be a limit to how much Americans are permitted to think. Today, at least, people still are permitted to think in Key West. I’m sure the mayor and city commissioners, the chamber of commerce and the tourist development council are thrilled about today’s Citizen report on the death of Charles Eimers in paradise not.
Although I’m the featured poet at tonight’s 1st Sunday of the month Key West Poetry Guild meeting, I am not settled on what I’m going to hold forth. I suppose, tho, there will be some mention of God and angels, and maybe some ass bags and scum bags, too. Takes one to know one.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West, aka “southernmost the nut house”